How to Start an AJET Special Interest Group

So, you want to start an AJET Special Interest Group (SIG)? Fantastic!! But as the saying goes ‘With great power comes great responsibility’. To ensure that all AJET SIGs continue to stay relevant, responsible and serve the interests of the JET community, AJET has come up with a few guidelines for starting a SIG.

First you’ve got to have interest, really. If you’re not interested in both your group AND running a group it’s not going to work. And it can’t just be you alone interested in one thing – there’s got to be an active interest in forming a group. In addition to interest, you must have a goal for forming the group. The JET(s) must write a Mission Statement and Operating Regulations. They must also decide on the main form of community communication for the group: Google groups, Facebook, a forum, etc. Next SIG leaders must be elected: There needs to be enough members to form an executive council at the very least. This will consist of a Chair, Vice-Chair, and a third position like a Public Relations Manager, Social Media Director, or Director of Mochi Consumption.

Then the SIG leader must submit a Mission Statement and Operating Regulations to the current National AJET Director of Affiliate Relations, who will then send it on to the AJET National Council Vice-Chair. The AJET National Council Vice Chair will then send the SIG’s information to the full council for discussion and vote. Once the voting process is finished, the SIG is active. You’ll need the following information to allow the SIG to be posted on the website: Contact person, contact email, community group (Facebook, forum, Google Group, etc.), short description of the group and logo (if available).

5 Steps for SIG Success

  1. Interest comes from a JET. This is important. If your group is made up of mostly non-JETs, by all means form a group and celebrate your interests, but perhaps an AJET SIG is not for you. The JETs should have a goal for forming the group. The JETs must write a Mission Statement and Operating Regulations. They must also decide on the main form of community communication for the group: Google groups, Facebook, a forum, etc.
  2. Next, the SIG leader must submit that Mission Statement and Operating Regulations. Both must be completed and sent to the National AJET Director of Affiliate Relations for review and voting.
  3. Once the vote is finished, the SIG is active. However you’ll need the following information before AJET will post the SIG on the website: Contact person, contact email, community group (Google group, Facebook, a forum, etc.), short description of the group and logo (if available).
  4. When you have all that information (After your SIG has been approved) send it to the AJET Webmaster and request for them to put it on the website.
  5. Finally once your information has shown up on the AJET website you have only one last thing to do. PROMOTION! In the words of Dr. Suess from the Lorax, and I paraphrase. “I intend to go on doing just what I do! And, for your information, you AJET National Council, I’m figgering on biggering and BIGGERING and BIGGERING my Special Interest Group!

P.S. An annual report must be submitted by all active SIGs by March 31st.

A Few Definitions for Clarification…

The Mission Statement:
States the general purpose of your organization. What it hopes to accomplish and who it is open to. It can be anywhere from a sentence to a page.

The Operating Regulations:
Details how your organization is run, how the leadership is elected, membership fees, etc.

The Annual Report:
Details your SIG’s activities from March of the previous year to March of the current year. This may include any events you may have held, difficulties you faced, etc. It can include a budget and schedule of activities for the upcoming year. Any changes in leadership and contact information should also be documented.

Disclaimer: The Mission Statement, Operating Regulations and Annual Report must be in accordance with AJET Constitution and Bylaws as started in Section 2 of Article IX:Affiliated Groups.